The differences between Songkran and Thingyan Festival

Myanmar’s Thingyan and Thailand’s Songkran are somewhat similar and both of them are crazy water throwing festivals. Both of the festivals are longest Buddhist holiday and people celebrate to wash away the sins of the previous year. Both Thingyan and Songkran are nations’ biggest wildest celebrations, and people celebrate by having a countrywide water fights. If you happen to be in Thailand or Myanmar in April, you will be caught up in the water fights and soaking wet. There is no escape! Even though Thingyan and Songkran are quite similar festivals, there are some differences. So that I am writing about the differences between Songkran and Thingyan Festival.

Different ways of water fights

Thailand and Myanmar have slightly different ways of water fights. In Thailand, people only  play water by walking around the city with water guns or water buckets. In Myanmar, people also have walking water fights but that is not the only way. Burmese people build pavilions where people stand on and splash water by using water pipes and fire hoses. People use jeeps and pick-up trucks to go around the city and get soaked. If you are lucky, some people will welcome you to hop on the trucks to go around the city. People usually carry water tanks on the cars and splash water back to the people on the streets. Some of the pavilions are for entertainments and you can explore beautiful Myanmar traditional Thingyan dances. In Thailand, EDM shows are more common.

Thai Powder smearing tradition

powder applying to the face during Songkran
powder applying to the Face at friendly manner during Songkran

In Songkran, people smear chalk powder on other people’s faces. It is the Thai tradition and considered a good thing or blessing if someone smear powder on your face. There is no such tradition in Myanmar Thingyan.

Sa Tu Di Tha in Myamnar

Sa Tu Di Tar treat
Sa Tu Di Tar treat during Thingyan

SaTu DiTha means food for everyone from all four corner of the Earth and locals donate food to gain merit. During Thingyan festival, people build tents in the neighborhood to serve Thingyan traditional foods for free to feed the celebrators. You will be able to taste different Thingyan foods including Mont-Lone-Yay-Paw which is the jaggery filled sticky rice ball. Such kind of donations can be found all over the cities and you will be warmly welcomed by the locals. Neighbors join together to prepare the food and serve the food, and this is a beautiful tradition of Thingyan festival.

Control over celebration

Thai polices ban high pressure water guns and alcohol during the festival but people in Myanmar even use fire hoses. You will find people drinking and carrying cans of beers on the back of their trucks in Myanmar. Therefore, we can see that there are more controls over the celebration in Thailand than Myanmar. Which means that Thingyan is wilder and crazier than Songkran.

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